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Face Covering/Mask Protocol

Tulane University is committed to providing a safe environment in which to teach, perform research, work, study and visit. Because COVID-19 can spread quickly and cause widespread illness and death, the university will implement measures it deems necessary in order to protect faculty, staff, students, contractors (vendors who have a contractual relationship with the university), volunteers and visitors from potential exposure to this disease. The university has established requirements that adhere to current public health practice and city/state guidelines as well as to guidelines that meet or exceed Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommendations relative to COVID-19.

  • Masks with exhalation valves or vents should NOT be worn to help prevent the person wearing the mask from spreading COVID-19 to others (source control).
  • Face coverings do not need to be worn while exercising outdoors if you are able to physically distance from others.

Face coverings must be worn by all faculty, staff and students while inside a university facility or on any university property when in the presence of others (e.g., common workspaces, meeting rooms, etc.). Face masks must also be worn on university transit buses. Appropriate use of face coverings or face masks is critical in minimizing risks to others near you. COVID-19 can be spread to others even if no symptoms are being displayed.

Tulane will provide two cloth face coverings per faculty, staff, and student working or studying in a university facility or on university grounds. Disposable masks will be provided by in various locations throughout campus, should the faculty, staff, or student forget to bring their own. Individuals are responsible for laundering the face covering as necessary, in accordance with the guidance below. Disposable masks must only be worn for one day and then disposed of in the trash. Individuals may provide their own face covering for their personal use.


  • A person eating and drinking at a food and beverage establishment on University Grounds.
  • A person seeking to communicate with a hearing-impaired person, for which the mouth needs to be visible.
  • Anyone with a health condition that keeps them from wearing a face covering. (Contact Kathryn Lafrentz, the ADA/504 Coordinator, at klafrentz@tulane.edu or by 504.247.1751 to request a reasonable accommodation.)
  • Any person who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance.
  • A person in need of University or medical services may temporarily remove the face 
  • It is not necessary to wear a mask when exercising outside if you can physically distance.
Travel to/from and work/study off university grounds

Faculty, staff and students traveling to/from sites off campus for work or study are expected to wear a face covering if in a vehicle with other individuals. Once at the work or study site, you should comply with the locale’s requirements for wearing a face covering.

Contractors, volunteers and visitors

Any contractor (vendors who have a contractual relationship with the university), volunteer, or visitor to the university must wear a face covering while inside a university facility or otherwise inside a building on university grounds or on university property unless they meet the exemptions listed above.

Compliance with policy

Failure to comply with requirements of this policy may result in disciplinary action in accordance with relevant university policies.


Definition of Terms in Statement
Face Covering (Face Mask)

The most common types of masks include:

1.  Cloth Face-Coverings: These can be purchased or made at home from cotton or other breathable and washable material. They are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) to slow the spread of COVID-19 by reducing spread of the virus from the wearer to others. They are not intended to provide protection from inhalation of small particles or virus aerosols. According to CDC guidance, an effective cloth face covering will:

  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops
  • Include multiple layers of fabric
  • Allow for breathing without restriction
  • Be able to be laundered and machine-dried without damage or change to shape

More specific guidance can be found here.

2.  Medical/Surgical Masks: A loose fitting disposable mask (usually yellow, blue or green) made of several layers of thin fabric and designed to provide protection to others by reducing exposure to the saliva and respiratory secretions of the mask wearer. These masks are not intended to provide protection from inhalation of small particles or virus aerosols.

3.  ‘Respirators’ (including N95s): A respirator is a tight-fitted mask designed to reduce inhalation of small, aerosolized particles, including virus particles. Fit-testing is required, and respirators are subject to regulation by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

Social Distancing

A public health practice designed to limit the spread of infection by requiring sufficient physical space (at least six feet) between individuals.


Use and Care of Face Coverings
Putting on the Face Covering/Disposable Mask
  • Wash hands or use hand sanitizer prior to handling the face covering/disposable mask.
  • Be sure the face covering/disposable mask fits over the nose and under the chin.
  • Situate the face covering/disposable mask properly with the nose wire snug against the nose (where applicable).
  • Tie straps behind the head and neck or loop around the ears.
  • Throughout putting on the face covering/disposable mask, AVOID TOUCHING THE FRONT OF THE FACE COVERING/DISPOSABLE MASK.
Taking off the Face Covering/Disposable Mask
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth when removing the face covering/ disposable mask.
  • When taking off the face covering/disposable mask, loop your finger into the strap and pull the strap away from the ear or untie the straps.
  • Wash hands immediately after removing.
Care, Storage, and Laundering
  • Keep face covering/disposable mask dry and stored in a bag when not in use.
  • Cloth face coverings should be washed after each use by the wearer (per CDC guidelines).
  • Cloth face coverings should be replaced immediately if damaged (e.g., ripped, punctured).
  • Disposable masks must not be used for more than one day and must be disposed of in the trash at the end of the work shift or when it is soiled, wet, damaged (e.g., stretched ear loops, torn or punctured material), or visibly contaminated.